Archive for March, 2009

The “…ations” of Our Business

March 27, 2009

When did the occupation of public relations become so confusing to people?  When I graduated from college, I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication.  My studies were concentrated in public relations.  I understood this to mean that my job would be to communicate a business’ message to the public: directly, through the media, and if needed and depending on the company I worked for, lobbying.

Today, there seems to be some question as to what this practice entails.  Is it just effective writing? Is it a robust database to help your clients get traction in the media? Is it throwing a press release on the wire? Is it lobbying a bill on the Hill? Is it working with investors of a business to get the company’s messaging across? Is it social media?

The truth is, effective PR firms and people know how to do all of that, and in most cases, do much of it well.   The business of public relATIONS is all about communicATION. And in today’s world that means communication to many types of people across multiple channels.  The multiple channel piece of the equation is key.

From bloggers to national broadcast television placements, it is all important and beneficial. In fact, some of the smaller, less “glamorous” placements can do more for your bottom line.   Consider the reach an outlet has AND how respected they are.  A very targeted blog about a specific subject may get your client more traction than a mainstream newspaper placement.  Think podcasters are important to target? You bet! Leave no stone unturned and achieve better results.

Bottom line: relate and communicate information effectively across all channels. That is what today’s PR is all about.


Twitter. Why Bother?

March 26, 2009

Twitter.  We have been hearing about it a lot more lately.  In fact, as a pr person I have been seeing an increased number of queries from the media asking for “experts” on Twitter – so there must be something to it, right? Ellen tweets.  And apparently Jay Leno did too for awhile.

I have blogged about it before… and here I go again!

A few of my non-marketing friends have recently dipped a toe into the Twitterverse and wonder what all the fuss is about.  Well, friends… it takes more than a week to really figure it all out.  If you are basically tweeting out what you had for dinner and how your commute went – then you are missing the bird… err, I mean boat!

Here are some quick suggestions on how to get some meaning out of your time on Twitter:

  • Search for people in your community that you want to follow. For example if I search the code #BTV (which is the airport code for Burlington, VT) I can see all of the stories that are related to people tweeting about Burlington.  This works for most other cities too.  And if there is a tweetup – go! You never know who you will meet and what sorts of handy tidbits you can pick up!  
  • Work in a specific industry? Find out if there is a virtual get together and tweet in!  I rather enjoy Monday night when there is #Journchat and have connected with many a pr and journalist there for some engaging conversation.

What you tweet about is up to you… I find that a mix of my work life and helpful or good links with a small dash of personal works best for me.  I have been able to start some great conversations and have learned a lot about topics that interest me and those that I did not know about before.

At the very least – secure your Twitter name.  Like a domain name, once it is gone – it is gone!

I came across the following tonight and thought it was hysterical.  Too bad that the writer of the clip has not realized that most people have moved past mundane tweets and have become more engaged… but it is fun to watch anyway!